Once my mom and I watched “Terms of Endearment” together. That was probably not a good idea on a couple of fronts, namely putting ourselves in the position of discovering each other’s mortality on top of the contentious mother/daughter relationship. My mother insisted she would go bananas if I was suffering in a hospital and a member of the staff waited two seconds longer than they should have to give me my medicine. That brought a tear to my eye and not for the usual reasons a daughter would feel moved by her mother’s expression of love. More because I realized that she had no idea how some of the other things she did actually did feel like being two seconds late for my medicine. I won’t go into detail here but I am guarded in certain areas for reasons that stem back to childhood (um, like I have the only membership card to that club, right?). Part of me has always wanted to do a either my very own “Taxi Driver” monologue in the mirror (”You talkin to me? ARE YOU talkin to ME?”) or slap my own face for not getting over it. Shit happens. Parents make mistakes. Blah blah.
At some point though both get old and you are still left with what the hell are you supposed to do. Parents are people and when the Joe on the corner does something to piss you off, why wouldn’t you let them know? Who wrote the rule that we are supposed to do ballet tip toes around our parents for fear of hurting their feelings when our feelings are hurt? I attempted this tough love trip down memory lane once and my mom flipped out. I mean FLIPPED THE EFF OUT over the phone. When she does this, there’s this very scary Exorcist sound in her otherwise sing songy stepford wife voice. It sounds like an ocean of gravel is pulling up from the depths of the sea and it, along with Captain Jack, is going to do a water karate number on you like you wouldn’t believe. You can just hear the hurt tears and spit and saliva coming out of her face and well, that’s not fun. That’s the not the point of trying to get your parent to remember some crazy shit they did when you were kid that still has you sort of messed up in the head a little. And the trip I took her on was not one of the worst ones we could’ve traveled yet and still, she couldn’t handle it.
What brings me to this? Well, I’ve been thinking about this whole Sarah Palin/David Letterman thing and while the depth of my soul wants this opportunistic woman to go away and govern her state before they kick her in the tush for her backwards mouth, the other part of me wants to put this on the table they way I can’t do with my mom. Willow, Branch, Tree and Shrub or whatever her kids names are, should basically just let her know to stop talking about them. This morning she referenced Obama being able to lay the hammer down on the media talking about his family and how that was a double standard because he got what he wanted and she didn’t. There’s lots of crazy flaw in this argument. One, your teenage girl had a baby with a kid you brought along on the campaign trail and endured the long suffering rhetoric of your family values, twisting and turning all the while, condescending to those who weren’t middle class vanilla salt of the earth. Two, you never asked the media to stop talking about your family. You couldn’t do that because they would have promptly reminded you that you were talking about your family. Three, your family is on the cover of every tabloid and non tabloid magazine whether it’s the poor baby dady insisting your Moose Mafia is preventing him from seeing his kid or its your daughter who’s trying to become her own woman and turn her slip up around. Four, you talk too much about things that have nothing to do with you and you’re not smart about some of them so there goes your credibility. Every time you open your mouth to criticize in a specific way, that way is then slammed dunked (Dwight Howard style) by regular media that sheds light on the holes of your theories.
I get kind of embarrassed for her kids because not only are the enduring this kind of crazy opportunistic woman but they also have to figure out how to deal with this later on, their Mom none the wiser. There’s nothing like feeling like your Mom is using you, even if she doesn’t realize it and she is, it sucks. So that’s why I put two and two together and got Terms of Endearment. That two seconds past medication time is always hard to digest.Tweet
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